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Grappling with the noticeably unknown

Started by droqen, January 21, 2022, 04:53:05 AM

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Unknowns, and unknown unknowns, are quite beautiful to behold and consider. But, in order to begin engaging with unknowns, they must first be visible. The result of a six-sided die roll is "unknown", while the next card to be drawn from a deck of 100 unknown cards is an "unknown unknown". In both cases, however, it's known that we are contending with the unknown.

By contrast, if I am playing an action game where my gun can jam randomly 5% of the time but it hasn't jammed yet, then when I press the fire button I'm not grappling with the unknown... my mindset is prepared for what is known, and at some point in the future I may be unpleasantly surprised.


Uncertainty and potential go hand in hand. For a time, the unresolved cat is both dead and alive not in a literal sense, but in a very important psychological sense. When we do not know, we are capable of entertaining many possible futures in our minds at once.